Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: John Devalle
Publisher: John Devalle (5 Oct 2013)
There seems to be an ongoing market for short thrillers of the old pulp fiction variety. One example that springs to mind is the stream of "Fight Club" novels that come out each month with boxers and gangsters as the focus of the many fast-paced, violent stories.
With espionage trappings, Waiting for the Deathbringer is in that tradition, although author John Devalle has a polemic point to make. While the "Deathbringer" is a literal killing machine in the story, the robot isn't the main source of the page after page of carnage and slaughter. For one matter, the first chapter introduces us to the amoral and two-dimensional Frank Munro, an assassin with an accurate trigger-finger, able to always take out his targets with one shot. He's often employed by the security services of the US and Britain and has a tendency to shoot first and never ask questions.
But, as the plot unfolds, it's clear Devalle believes the real "deathbringers" are the evil Western governments willing to sacrifice innocent lives in order to create super-weapons against their adversaries. In this case, in a secret laboratory in the jungle, local villagers are subjected to experiments using biological, chemical, and electronic implants that turn them into the "Walking Dead." Munro and Rose McDonald, a CIA operative who does have a moral compass, investigate these strange killers and learn the enemy isn't who they think.
I suspect few books you might ever read would be as bloody and gory as Waiting for the Deathbringer. Corpses and limbs literally pile up in more than one chapter, no one ever seems to think it worthwhile to take prisoners or simply wound anyone. Munro isn't the only character who simply shoots to kill without considering any options. Virtually every character, from the scientists to the power brokers behind the scenes, has as much life as those zombies created in the national interest. Apparently, this was by design.
In short, the book is an odd blend of pulp excess and heated political commentary. It's for readers who like corpses, whether animated or comatose.